Mia Wray graces the cover of Spotify's Equal AU/NZ playlist

Calls For Action After Male Artists Clean-Sweep Domestic Categories At The 2024 APRA Awards

This past Wednesday night, the 2024 APRA Awards went down at Sydney’s ICC Theatre. Following the ceremony, APRA AMCOS swiftly came under fire after male artists took out 100% of the awards in the domestic “most-performed works” categories.

The trophies went to Dean Lewis (Most Performed Australian Work and Most Performed Pop Work), grantperez (Emerging Songwriter of the Year), Birds Of Tokyo (Most Performed Alternative Work), Casey Barnes (Most Performed Country Work), Parkway Drive (Most Performed Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Work), Polish Club (Most Performed Rock Work), Ziggy Alberts (Most Performed Blues & Roots Work), ONEFOUR (Most Performed Hip Hop / Rap Work), Shouse (Most Performed Dance/Electronic Work), and JKING (Most Performed R&B / Soul Work).

“We must continuingly question the absence of diversity in every facet of the industry”

Only one Australian female artist was recognised with an award, with Sia taking home the gong for  Most Performed Australian Work Overseas.

Importantly, winners in the “Most Performed” genre awards categories are based purely on a statistical analysis of APRA’s database. So with that in mind, APRA AMCOS addressed the backlash with a statement on social media, calling for more action across all facets of the Australian music industry to help tackle the continued gender imbalance.

“In recognising the incredible talent in Australia’s music landscape, it’s important to acknowledge that as an organisation that champions gender diversity through advocacy, funding and creative opportunities, there’s more to do to address the disparity in the industry of male to women, non-binary and gender diverse award winners,” their statement began.

“We must continuingly question the absence of diversity in every facet of the industry whether in rooms, , executive offices, on stages, or across airwaves and streaming platforms and commit to amplifying the entirety of Australia’s musical brilliance,” it continued.

“Changing these outcomes requires a concerted effort across our industry and our society. This is not easy. We must continue to do the work nevertheless, so that works written by a diverse mix of songwriters get listened to, broadcast, downloaded, performed, played, and the numbers start to tell a different story.”

Coincidentally, the day after the APRA Awards, Spotify Australia held a media masterclass at their Sydney office, showcasing some recent initiatives they’ve been spearheading to help tackle this exact issue.

Key among these is EQUAL, a global music program which has been working to amplify and celebrate the work of non-male creators around the world for the past three years. Since its launch in 2021, EQUAL has worked to shine a spotlight on women in audio through global partnerships, activations, new content experiences, and on- and off-platform support.

With curated playlists operating in more than 180 markets including Australia, accessible via the EQUAL hub, the initiative has generated more than 31 billion editorial streams across 1 billion listening hours globally. And the head honchos at Spotify believe it’s making a real impact.

“We’re incredibly proud of EQUAL’s impact and reach in elevating the careers of artists globally over the last three years,” Bel Aztiria, Lead, Social and Equity Music Programs at Spotify, said in a press statement.

“Since its inception, our mission to foster equity for the diverse voices of women in audio has resonated in studios and communities and on stages worldwide. We’re honoured to continue collaborating with iconic and emerging artists this year and highlighting women audiobook and podcast creators in our EQUAL hub.”

You can stream Spotify’s curated EQUAL AU & NZ playlist, championing music from local female and gender diverse artists such as Mia Wray, Dulcie and Lotte Gallagher, down below.

EQUAL AU & NZ – Spotify Playlist

Further Reading

Tina Arena Calls For Royal Commission Into Music Industry Inequality On ‘The Weekly’

What We Learned From Triple J’s New Report On The Gender Gap In Aussie Music

Women Are “Chronically Disadvantaged” In The Australian Music Industry, Report Finds

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